Georgia joins battle against health care reform
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Atlanta Business Chronicle
Gov. Sonny Perdue named Frank C. Jones the pro bono Special Attorney General to direct Georgia’s participation in challenging health care reform recently passed by Congress.
Georgia on Tuesday joined the lawsuit filed by 18 other states in federal court in Florida.
Jones is currently of counsel at Jones, Cork & Miller in Macon, Ga., where he practiced from 1950 to 1977. From 1977 to 2001, Jones was a partner at King & Spalding LLP in Atlanta.
He also is the former president of the American College of Trial Lawyers, president of the U.S. Supreme Court Historical Society, 22-year member of the House of Delegates for the American Bar Association, president of the State Bar of Georgia and member of the American Law Institute.
“The importance of this legal challenge demands the very best representation possible and that is exactly what the state is receiving from Frank C. Jones,” Perdue said. “Frank is one of the best and most respected lawyers in the state. We are grateful he recognizes the importance of this challenge and is taking up the cause on behalf of Georgians.”
The appointment comes after Democratic Attorney General Thurbert Baker refused a request from Perdue to pursue the case. Republicans inside and outside of Congress argue the law is unconstitutional because it requires individuals and businesses to buy health insurance or face fines. But Baker believes the states don’t have a winnable case.
Perdue also appointed the following Georgia attorneys as deputy Special Attorneys General: Mike Russ, retired Partner at King & Spalding; Jason Alloy and Josh Belinfante of RobbinsLaw, LLC; Pitts Carr of Carr & Palmer; John Parker and Keith Blackwell of Parker, Hudson, Rainer & Dobbs LLP; and Mercer University law professor David Oedel. These lawyers will also serve the state on a pro bono basis.
Other Georgia attorneys have offered to assist with the challenge, and may participate as the case requires.
“We welcome Georgia to this lawsuit as we continue fighting to protect the constitutional rights of American citizens and the sovereignty of our states,” said Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, who has organized the team of states challenging the bill. “On behalf of the residents in Florida and the states joining our efforts, we are committed to aggressively pursuing this lawsuit to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary to prevent this unprecedented expansion of federal powers, impact upon state sovereignty and encroachment on our freedom.”
Other states involved in the lawsuit are Florida, South Carolina, Nebraska, Texas, Utah, Louisiana, Alabama, Colorado, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Washington, Idaho, South Dakota, Indiana, North Dakota, Mississippi, Nevada, and Arizona. Virginia is pursuing its own litigation.